As of Monday May 17th 2010 this blog (tenpercent.wordpress.com) has moved to tenpercent.org.uk
As of Monday May 17th 2010 this blog (tenpercent.wordpress.com) has moved to tenpercent.org.uk
FreeGaza– 14 May 2010 – At 22:45 local time tonight, the MV Rachel Corrie, a 1200-ton cargo ship, part of the eight-vessel Freedom Flotilla, set sail from Ireland on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. There, ships from Turkey and Greece will join her, then sail to Gaza.
This past week reports from Israel have indicated that the Israeli authorities will not allow the Freedom Flotilla to reach Gaza with its cargo of much-needed reconstruction material, medical equipment, and school supplies. According to Israeli news sources, clear orders have been issued to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza, even if this necessitates military violence.
The Free Gaza Movement, which has launched eight other sea missions to Gaza, confirms that Israel has tried these kinds of threats and intimidation tactics before in order to try to stop the missions before they start. “They have not deterred us before and will not deter us now,” said one of the organizers.
Ship to Gaza — Sweden, a Freedom Flotilla coalition partner, together with parliamentarian Mehmet Kaplan (Green Party) yesterday asked for an audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt, to discuss what measures the Swedish government and the European Union will take to protect the Freedom Flotilla’s peaceful, humanitarian voyage. Earlier this week during a meeting with the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza – another coalition partner, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan expressed his support for “breaking the oppressive siege on the Gaza Strip…which is at the top of Turkey’s list of priorities.“
Coalition partners, Ship to Gaza – Greece and the Turkish relief organization IHH, stressed that the ships, passengers, and cargo will be checked at each port of departure, making it clear that we constitute no security threat to Israel.
Israel’s threats to attack unarmed civilians aboard vessels carrying reconstruction aid are outrageous and indicative of the cruel and violent nature of Israel’s policies towards Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla is acting in line with universal principals of human rights and justice in defying a blockade identified as illegal by the UN and other humanitarian organizations. Palestinians in Gaza have a right to the thousands of basic supplies that Israel bans from entering, including cement and schoolbooks, as well as a right to access the outside world. The Freedom Flotilla coalition calls on all signatories to the Fourth Geneva Conventions to pressure Israel to adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law, to end the lethal blockade on Gaza, and to refrain from attacking this peaceful convoy.
It’s the last Friday on wordpress.com before the move on Monday to tenpercent.org.uk and just in the nick of time the decision as to the theme of the blog has been reached. It was not easy, there were some long nights, vinyl rummaging and acts of terror. It’s been a hard fought battle and the path here is littered with the very excellent choices that didn’t quite make it, maybe next year. The decision invigilated by an international committee of Nobel laureates and also people who aren’t war criminals, was made infinitely harder by the fact that the blog has two theme tunes…at least. First, it has made a Friday before but it endures, it abides, as I said then-
It forms some of the parameters of my soul.
Karl Hyde’s poetry is so evocative yet pleasingly playful with ambiguity yet you know just what he means, you identify with the experience that is both recounted in the track and is the track itself, the shards of memory, images, thoughts, feelings, flashing through the track resonate (pun!) with my own long memories of eternal summers on Welsh beaches and more contemporary sensations.
walking in the wind at the water’s edge
come closer covering my rubber feet
listening to the barbed wire, hanging
The rhythm and mantra like revelations within the lyric enriching your own understanding of even everyday speech and meaning, the need and frustration to communicate that is both aided and hindered by language.
sugarbox sugarboy handheld candle sugarboy
your rails your thin your thin paper wings
And the reason why wandered-in-from-the-wild-as-a-kitten Mogwai’s middle name is Juanita.
homeless strays gathering outside your window
bootleg babies call to you
lying amongst the mosquitoes
this summer fever’s coming
The music’s a twisting turning epic under the genius of Rick (excellent name, obviously) Smith and grooves wrestled (at the time) by Darren Emerson. At times muscular, then quiet, loud, large having and transcendent, it’s a love song -sometimes- for people, places and feelings as its final movement in the original triptych suggests –Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream of Love, it is music made of the mysterious matter that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. There are many versions, this is a live one from the Everything Everything release, each have their differences and all continually reveal new aspects, new collisions of rhythm, melody and language.
resonator resonator resonator resonator
And, Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen, perhaps a controversial choice in light of his non boycotting by playing in Israel, but I can disagree with the decision yet admire the art and after all it is a tactic not an ideology, plus it’s a corking song. Perhaps a theme of ennui for the world weary cynicism of the thwarted romantic and idealist and also maybe holds a special place for those of a certain age when Pump Up The Volume came out. It gets covered quite often and the conceit of the lyric does lend itself to newer iterations as every age finds new lies, hypocrisies and crises that are lied about, which of course is all over now…
OK, now I’ve got it to those two I find that intolerable and want to add loads more, dammit!
Given they both agree cuts which will entail more unemployment they are then further victimising the people they make unemployed, a searingly middle and upper class attitude that is based in the ‘scrounger’ idea that is demonstrably dishonest, they know full well their ideology depends on and creates a pool of unemployed to maintain ‘flexibility’ of labour and to lower labour costs. Nevertheless they convey through corporate media allies to condition people to think those needing welfare are ripping off taxpayers and are unwilling to work, ensuring the astronomically higher corporate and tax fraud figures of their supporters and compadres are kept out of the discourse. One can reasonably define a characteristic of neoliberalism is the scapegoating, the othering, of victims of the ideology in order to misdirect opposition from the -already rich- benefactors of neoliberalism. I have not seen anyone else focus on this part of the deal which perhaps also demonstrates the effectiveness of the ideology in informing opinions on this subject. For some people to be rich under this system it requires many others to remain poor, apparently a taboo issue for the self absorbed upwardly mobile acquisitive consumer puppets of marketing whose souls are owned by Visa.
From Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition deal
The parties agree to end all existing welfare-to-work programmes and to create a single welfare-to-work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.
We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work should be referred to the aforementioned newly created welfare-to-work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants aged under 25 should be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.
The parties agree to realign contracts with welfare-to-work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.
We agree that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare-to-work programmes should be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure.
We agree that receipt of benefits for those able to work should be conditional on the willingness to work.
Here comes the 32nd year of neoliberalism, this time in toff(ee?) flavour. Surprisingly I have a Tory acquaintance, one Mister Degby Reardon who when he has sobered up I shall invite for his views on the Blue Reich, last I heard from him he was chanting ‘Cameroooooonnnnnnssss Komandos!’ and urinating on a cowering LibDem. I think he is pleased. This is often a bad sign.
If this were debt cancellation and stimulus it would be interesting and the details are not out but I somehow doubt this will be much more than doing what the markets want, the level of debt created by financialisation and neoliberal policies is socially unsustainable unless police states become standard. Nowhere in the article are people mentioned, just banks & governments. The quote ‘inability of the Greek government to live within its means‘ is such a poisonous falsehood, as if financial institutions did not for years bribe key people into endless debt restructuring not because it helped them but because it made money for the banks. This is a merry game played by elites with the costs passed onto those not allowed to participate, yet the besuited oligarchs have the chutzpah to project their irresponsibility onto their victims. This is a rescue package within the rules of the game, better than what could have happened but ultimately it prolongs the scam. Neoliberalism, does not work, financialisation in place of actual productivity does not work (excuse the pun), capitalism unregulated and unconstrained does not work, Adam Smith was actually very clear on that despite what Randroids and laissez faire fundamentalists prefer to read into his works (by current standards he’d be labeled a socialist by corporate media). What we are seeing is a rolling breakdown of systems of human activity because we are serving the economy not making the economy serve us.
Oh and some spurious wonky shit about elections, is it just me or are you sick of the (very masculine) obsession with numbers and deals and very little mention of the consequences to people of the cuts no one seems to want to think about (is this I suspect because they are all convinced of the neoliberal arguments and wouldn’t know a socialised market if they fell over one). Or am I just stupid for hoping just a tiny bit a coalition and public appetite for reform might stymie the cuts agenda of a lib/lab coalition because they can see the tories waiting to profit off the market fetishised ‘austerity’ measures (nice euphemism for class war and shock doctrine beloved by all those who fully expect not to suffer one iota because of them, until maybe that crime spike means it’s their home invaded and they get beaten the shit out of to give up all their valuables, no really I’m trying to feel sympathy for the self absorbed privileged twats).
What? You didn’t order a rant, well you got one anyway. Try the veal, I’ll be here all week… then I’ll be at http://www.tenpercent.org.uk/
Peace out motherfunkers.
Yes dear readers, at last it has come to pass, the new site is getting onto its feet and so it is time to do this moving thing. So this Monday 10th May marks the end of the beginning, a week from now (Monday 17th May) new posts will not appear here, they will appear at:-
Yes you can go and have a look, grimace in horror and carefully ensure you don’t update your blogrolls, or… you could, that would be nice. The plan (such as it is) is that this site remains here, all the posts intact so links etc still work and -clickable- notice of the new site will be in the sidebars to inform casual readers of the move. On the new site the entire blog will be reproduced (just some niggling missing posts and comments to figure out, damn my over 2mb xml file!) and from May 17th it will be the live site where new posts appear. It is hosted in far off lands thanks to an excellent friend of the blog, beyond the easy reach of UK libels laws and if some eejit has a problem with it they can no longer send a lawyers letter/email to WordPress and they immediately defer to that threat rather than think about it and contact me. Over-privileged numpties with an itchy lawyer finger will have to deal with me directly, y’know like in a civilised open way. So even if the new government is not much to look forward to, then there is a least this change you can believe in. Oh and if I can persuade ‘it’ the HAL 9000 supercomputer will be making an appearance in a special video…
Situation deteriorates when Aschcroft interrupts and asks for his money back.
To prove they are not Tory-Lite and as duplicitous as any other party the Lib Dems have to reject any deal with Cameron, instead they and Labour should agree a coalition that works towards an election under a new PR system within two years. Tories supported apartheid, they legalised homophobia, they are backed by non dom financiers who profit from crisis. They are home to Christian fundamentalists and anti-science, anti-choice irrational, dishonest, Machiavellian grifters. 56.4% of voters want progressive government, to make a deal with minority conservative rule betrays every one of the Lib Dems supporters progressive ideals and democratic instincts. Unless it’s all about power and being comfortably middle class while cuts rain down on the poorest and infirm. We are about to see what Nick Clegg is made of.
Ok, not actually my polling station but the one in the village next along, does this increase turnout? And will booze enhance the Left’s chances, hmmm. Anyways, my 14 year old niece asked ‘is that where poll dances go on?’ Has neoliberal enabled/feminism subverting raunch culture destroyed political awareness in the young…Discuss. So it was fortuitous that my plans meant we then proceeded to my polling station where I took her in to show her the exciting wonders of voting (turnout was ‘ok’ according to the poll people), then told her why it was important (one day we might get a government that works for us not the ruling class, one day, but we have to do more than vote for that. Why did she have to be 18 to vote she asked, I said they don’t think teenagers should be represented even though at 16 you can go and die for some politician’s ambitions. Lowering it to 16 seemed to be our preferred option. Why did we go into a a little hide/booth? So the vote is secret and we cannot be intimidated, at least in that moment we can’t. Then I told her that the result was not going to be good, Dave’s an aristocrat, we’ll never get a living wage under him as she related how she was paid four-ish quid -inc. tips- an hour for casual waitressing work, I got £1.85 and hour in my first factory job, back when £1.85 really meant something… ah the 80’s, hmmm).
Plaid just phoned, that’s showing some moxy, yes they could rely on my support in this election, Good Luck. (They did answer 100% on Stop The War’s survey).
Meanwhile Andy Worthington let me know he has put together a list of 149 MPs who supported human rights in the last year and he noted 2% of Tories supported the EDMs, 26% of Labour MPs and 70% of Lib Dems. So click the link (I will repeat the list at the bottom of this post too). Also today on his blog he is having a fund-raising special- a supporter has pledged to match all donations to support his work over the next 48 hours. So really now is the absolutely best time to chuck him some cash, go to his blog and click the paypal button and know your money for his essential work will magically be doubled.
Andy Worthington:- For anyone wondering how to vote in the General Election today, who may have noticed the resounding silence on the election trail regarding Britain’s commitment to human rights since the 9/11 attacks, I’ve compiled the following list of 149 MPs (out of 650 in total), who have signed up to two important Early Day Motions in the last 12 months.
It’s rearguard action time and at best all we get is the lesser of neoliberal evil but as Greece is showing corporate capital plans to attack and refusing to go quietly might mitigate their ambitions. Tory target seats, Grauniad Tactical voting guide, if you are in one, vote for the appropriate party to deny a Conservative victory (if your conscience allows). If the price of the war crimes engaged in by New Labour is a Tory government then to be honest we still get off a fuck of a lot lighter than around 1.2 to 1.5 million Iraqis and Afghans, so y’know have some perspective in your wailing and gnashing of teeth, because whoever wins welfare & healthcare will continue to be privatised & the ‘clients’ treated appallingly and migrants will still be imprisoned without trial. Torture will continue to practised and covered up, global capital will still be genuflected to and my brother will still be shipping out for Afghanistan this weekend.
We need reform of the electoral system and a clean-up of Parliament.
But we need to elect MPs who will change Parliament for good now.
We need voices of dissent in Parliament – not ‘Yes- men’ (and women) who are ‘on-message’ the whole time and controlled by party whips.
We need voices that are prepared to challenge and question.
We need voices that believe that change is possible.
We need voices that are different.
…the Party is increasingly confident of electing our first MP. Caroline is fighting it on a strong left programme of no cuts, no Trident, troops out of Afghanistan, no ID cards and job creation through a New Green Deal Programme. Taxes on the rich need to go up and we need to stop bowing down to the City of London.
Caroline was elected as one of the Green Party’s first MEPs in June 1999 to represent the South East of England region.
She was re-elected with an increased vote share in 2004. Caroline joined the Green Party in 1986 and has held many positions including National Press Officer (1987-89) and Co-Chair (1989-90).
She won the party’s second County Council seat in 1993 and served on Oxfordshire County Council until 1997. She was elected Principal Speaker each year from 2003 to 2005 and again in 2007. In 2008 she was elected Party Leader.
At a time when Green issues have risen up the political agenda dramatically, Caroline’s work has not gone unnoticed. She has received a number of accolades for her work.
Caroline received the Michael Kay Award from the RSPCA in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to European animal welfare and BBC Wildlife listed Caroline in their ‘Top 50 Conservationists’.
In 2007 and 2009, Caroline was voted Politician of the Year by Observer readers in their annual Ethical Awards and in 2008 was judged one of the Guardian’s top “eco-heroes.”
Fair pensions and care for older people- Greens think it’s unfair that people who have worked hard all their lives are eventually denied the pension they were promised, leaving many facing poverty and hardship.
Tackling the economic crisis – regulate the banks- Greens in Parliament will fight for a fair financial deal, with community banks, credit unions and mutuals providing realistic loans to families and small and local businesses.
Responding to climate change with a million new jobs- Greens think it’s unfair that the government stands by while unemployment skyrockets. We are fighting for an investment package to create over a million new jobs in low-carbon industries within 2-3 years.
Saving the NHS- The Green Party think it’s unfair that quality of care suffers when hospitals and surgeries are treated like profit-driven businesses rather than public services. It’s unfair that taxpayers fork out over £1bn every year on NHS private finance schemes.
Better public transport – affordable and reliable- If elected, Caroline will fight for a fair deal on public transport that benefits both climate and commuters.
A fair deal for young people – and their parents- Greens think it’s unfair that young people hanging around are seen as a problem, when all too often they simply have nowhere to go – and activities for young people are being reduced across the country.
Disability rights – an end to discrimination- Greens think it’s unfair that despite the Disability Discrimination Act, 11 million disabled people still face discrimination, disempowerment and exclusion in education, employment and public services as well as in social, cultural and political life.
Equalities- Greens think it unfair that individuals and groups with the most power in society claim their full quota of rights for themselves, whilst those with less power find their rights denied. Greens in Parliament would fight for all groups who find themselves discriminated against, are enabled to flourish.
NB. This is not an endorsement of the PMOI/MEK/MKO who I find reprehensible, but there is no doubt Bita Ghaedi if returned to Iran would be at severe risk of human rights abuse (which makes this attempted deportation against the stated policy of the government, try and act surprised).
URGENT: THE UK HAS RESCHEDULED BITA’S DEPORTATION FOR MAY 5.
1) Make Bita’s case VISIBLE: the media refuses to cover these illegal deportations to Iran. Ensure that the world knows what the British government is doing. Bita is but one case: there are many lined up behind her in the UK alone, including Nadia Arzane & Bashir Foris, and Kiana Firouz. What happens to Bita paves the road for the others. Post about Bita in every blog, in every comment section that you can. Raise the visibility.
2) SEND EMAIL. Send a clear, strong message to the responsible parties. Sample text and addresses are below:
To whom it may concern, regarding Bita Ghaedi, HO Ref G1149090/5:
As a citizen of xx, I am disgusted by how Britain is handling Bita Ghaedi’s asylum case. I am appalled that despite global outcry, the UK Border Agency has chosen to cold-bloodedly pursue the deportation of Bita Ghaedi now set for May 5.
Ghaedi sought refuge in the UK with viable grounds for establishing refugee status. In Iran, Ghaedi’s life was circumscribed, bound, tortured, and scarred by pervasive gender-based violence. Her refusal to submit to gender-based oppression in Iran ensures that she will be under threat of the barbaric practice of stoning if she is returned to Iran. Furthermore, her political activities with PMOI/MEK/MKO mark her as an opponent of the present regime; thus it is also on political grounds that she will face certain execution upon return to Iran.
Your office received over 2700 petition signatures to stop this atrocious human rights violation, and you have been the target of protests in the UK and the US. The UK is very well aware of the current human rights crisis in Iran, marked by a rapid rate of executions occurring over the past few weeks. Your response has been to deport Ghaedi in clear violation of the law. This is criminal.
I demand that this illegal act by the UK, which violates international principles of non-refoulement, be halted and Bita Ghaedi be granted asylum and refugee status.
Understand that England will be held publicly accountable for the fate of Bita Ghaedi.
UKBApublicenquiries -at- UKBA.gsi.gov.uk
CITTO -at- homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Privateoffice.external -at- homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
A consensus checklist of what constitutes real change is emerging from many sources. Securing jobs by intervening in manufacturing and restoring trade union rights; securing homes by a mass local authority house-building programme; stopping the squandering of public resources by ending the privatisation of public services; reasserting the government’s green credentials with no third runway; for young people freezing, as the first step towards abolishing, student fees; for pensioners restoring the link between pensions and earnings; halting the attacks on welfare; paying for our programme by fair taxation and cutting out the waste on the likes of Trident renewal and ID cards; and making government ruthlessly clean, open and fair with immediate electoral reform.
Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Martin Caton (Gower), Mark Chiverton (Isle of Wight), Katy Clark (North Ayrshire & Arran), Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North), John Cryer (Leyton & Wanstead), David Drew(Stroud), Sarah Evans (North West Hampshire), Paul Flynn (Newport West), Nia Griffith (Llanelli), David Hamilton (Midlothian), Gary Heather(Tunbridge Wells), David Heyes (Ashton-under-Lyne), Kevin Hind (Bury St Edmunds), Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North), Donna Hutton (Clwyd West), Ian Lavery (Wansbeck), John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington), Michael Meacher(Oldham West & Royton), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby), John Morgan(Rutland & Melton), Katrina Murray (Dundee East), Gordon Prentice(Pendle), Linda Riordan (Halifax), Phil Sawford (Kettering), Lee Skevington(Yeovil), Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)